RealTime IT News

Cisco Dips in to Digital Video Well

Cisco Systems Inc. crept into Canada under the watch of rival Nortel Networks Thursday to snag a privately-held digital video specialist PixStream for $369 million in stock.

The top dog of the network community, Cisco expects to seal the deal in the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2001.

PixStream skill is in delivering hardware and software solutions to distribute and manage digital video across all types of broadband networks.

The play should boost Cisco's strategy to accelerate broadband deployments and build networks that enable service providers to offer data, voice and video services to businesses and consumers.

Cisco is already the No. 1 market leader in broadband cable systems and the number-two market leader in broadband DSL systems, but Thursday's play will bring the titan broadcast-quality TV, video-on-demand programming and multi-player games over broadband DSL, cable and wireless networks.

With the buy, Cisco adds a healthy side show to its impressive list of optical networks and route switching companies. PixStream's partners include IBM Corp., Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

PixStream solutions include the VDS5000 professional video networking system, VDS2000 video networking system and VDS manager video networking management software. Using these systems, service providers and enterprises can offer TV content redistribution, video courier and broadband interactive video services.

PixStream's 156 employees will report to Lou Santora, vice president and general manager in Cisco's Service Provider Line of Business.